The modern workplace can be stressful, with constant deadlines, long hours, and endless to-do lists. As a result, it’s understandable why so many people feel anxious or overwhelmed when sitting at their desks. However, using your visual system, you can create a calming and relaxing environment where you can destress and feel more at ease.
Here are my top three visual drills to help you feel calmer at your desk.
1. Periphery Vision
When stressed, you’re most likely looking directly in front of you with tunnel vision, unaware of your surroundings. This drill uses your periphery vision to activate your parasympathetic nervous system leaving you feeling more relaxed. Keeping your eyes forward, start with small arm circles and wiggling fingers, eventually making them bigger, doing this for five to ten breaths.
Top Tip - add these into your next sun salutation.
When your eyes diverge (look to the distance), you’re reducing that flight or fight response we experience when we’re stressed or if there’s a ‘threat’ and instead stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system so you can feel calmer and relaxed. Using a pen or your thumb, start at the closest point to your eyes (without double vision) and extend the arm, keeping your eyes focused on the point, hold and then close your eyes and repeat.
Top tip - If near a window, look outside to the furtherest point away once you’ve extended your arm.
With the eyes covered, you can expect to feel serene and completely chilled out! Why? Well, your brain basically thinks you’re going to sleep and that you’re safe so again, you activate your parasympathetic nervous system. Just cup your hands and cover your eyes, you can have your eyes open or softly closed. Try to relax your face and make sure no light is leaking through.
Top tips - You can stay longer and even try this in your meditation or sweet savasana.
- Also, palming can improve your forward folds, try touching your toes before and after for around three minutes and notice if there’s any difference!
By using your visual system to create a calming and relaxing workspace, you can help reduce stress levels and improve your overall mood and productivity. Experiment with different visual drills to find what works best for you, and remember to take breaks and step away from your desk when needed to help maintain a sense of balance and wellbeing.
This month, our theme is the visual system so we will try a whole range of eye drills in our yoga classes. Next week, we will learn how to become more alert and energised using the visual system so keep an EYE out 👀 Try a two-week free trial today and find out how you can use these drills in your yoga practice.